It’s no secret that some of the most elite martial artists look like the perfect specimens. And why shouldn’t they? They train hard, constantly pushing physical and mental limits to accomplish their goals. They also follow strict diets to energize and maximize each training session. For these individuals, achieving a beach body worth of a Greek god (or goddess) is a piece of (clean) cake!
But what about us mere mortals?
We at Evolve Daily understand that having a toned, Instagram-worthy body isn’t the easiest thing to achieve. The fact that the beach holiday you’ve booked is coming around doesn’t make things any easier either. Instead of crash-dieting, going on a cleanse or spending mindless hours at the gym running on a treadmill, why not have a beach body all year round? Here’s how martial artists do it:
1) Get Monster Endurance
In order to work on their endurance, martial artists do cardiovascular centric conditioning exercises. The result is that they can perform at optimal strength for extended periods of time and prevent themselves from “gassing out” during a fight. For many martial artists, conditioning can determine their performance.
Muay Thai fighters, for example, run 10-15 kilometers a day in order to increase endurance for a five-round fight. Cardiovascular exercise is not only one of the most effective ways to burn fat, but also a great way to increase heart rate and blood circulation!
What you can do: Start with a 30-minute jog at a steady pace and increase as needed.
2) Become An Overall Athlete
For martial artists, doing exercises that require functional compound movements are the most beneficial. Not only do they mimic the movements used in fighting, but they also give them the required power, speed and coordination. However, these exercises are usually very challenging because they work many muscles simultaneously.
Whenever you perform these exercises, make sure that you have proper form and that you transition seamlessly. They are probably the most difficult concepts to master because they work on your athleticism, flexibility, balance and coordination all at once. Doing these exercises will not only guarantee your success in the ring or on the mats but also in achieving that beach body you’ve been working so hard on.
What you can do: Do three sets of fifteen medicine ball slams in addition to your regular workout. Don’t forget to throw the ball onto the ground with as much force as possible!
3) Eat Clean
For ONE FC Superstar Jake Butler, eating clean not only helps him maintain his superman-like physique but it also gives him the energy for optimal performance in training and in the cage. Most martial artists have similar diets, only choosing meals that they can use as fuel for training and fighting.
Eating clean consists of opting for whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in proteins, fiber, and healthy fats instead of processed, sugar-laden food. Protein is an especially important part of their diet. Protein not only helps them recover from an intense training session but also supports muscle growth. It’s simple; the better you eat, the better you’ll look. Remember, abs are also made in the kitchen, not just in the gym!
What you can do: Start by introducing one to two healthy meals into your daily diet. Pretty soon, eating clean will be a part of your life! You’ll feel much better too!
4) Get Flexible
Most elite martial artists are flexible. Muay Thai fighters need hamstrings that allow them to execute a deadly high kick, while Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners need flexibility to help them recover their guard easily to prevent it from being passed.
Flexibility also keeps your muscles loose and stretched, elongating them and keeping them from getting tight, decreasing the chances of muscle pain. It also increases mobility, performance, recovery from injury and even calorie-burning ability.
What you can do: Studies show that flexibility is most effective if performed after a workout. Your muscles are warmer after a workout, which makes it easier for you to maximize your stretching routine. Sit on the floor with your feet stretched out in front of you and lean over to touch your toes and hold the position. Try to hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 sets.
With these tips in mind, there’s no doubt that you’re on your way to achieving your best body yet. Remember, consistency is the key!